In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny (Hardback)Daisy Dunn (author)
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A masterful dual biography of both Pliny the Elder and Younger that synthesises exhaustive research with thrilling literary imagination to recreate one of the most complex and poignant relationships of the Ancient World. Wonderfully readable and consistently enlightening, In the Shadow of Vesuvius is a superb feat of historical reconstruction.
In a dazzling new literary biography, Daisy Dunn introduces Pliny the Younger, the survivor who became a Roman lawyer, senator, poet, collector of villas, curator of drains, and representative of the Emperor. He was confidant and friend to the great and good, an unparalleled chronicler of the Vesuvius catastrophe, and eyewitness to the terror of Emperor Domitian.
The younger Pliny was adopted by his uncle, admiral of the fleet and author of the Natural History, an extraordinary compendium of knowledge and the world's first full-length encyclopaedia. The younger Pliny inherited his uncle's notebooks and carried their pearls of wisdom with him down the years.
Daisy Dunn breathes vivid life back into the Plinys. Reading from the Natural History and the Younger Pliny's Letters, she resurrects the relationship between the two men to expose their beliefs on life, death and the natural world in the first century. Interweaving their work, and positioning the Plinys in relation to the devastating eruption, Dunn's biography is a celebration of two outstanding minds of the Roman Empire, and their lasting influence on the world thereafter.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 580 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 33 mm
'A fascinating, compelling and excellent biography of the two great Plinys of Ancient Rome, as well as a celebration of nature, a study of literature and the human soul, and a lens into Roman society itself ... This work of both scholarship and entertainment, arranged in Plinyesque seasons rather than strict chronology, is a delight that befits their high standards.' - Simon Sebag Montefiore
'Starts with an erupting volcano - and then gets more exciting. A wonderfully rich, witty, insightful and wide-ranging portrait of the two Plinys ... and their world.' - Sarah Bakewell
'Daisy Dunn's book is an absolute delight. Meticulously researched and beautifully crafted, it shines a clear beam of light into the private lives of Pliny the Elder and Younger.' - Giles Milton
'Immensely entertaining and readable .... Dunn has given us a delightful new biography ... Thoroughly recommended' - The Sunday Times
'Never less than compelling ... Without ever veering into historical fiction, she consistently succeeds in bringing what might otherwise seem dusty and remote to vivid life ... A portrait of the Roman Empire that gives the reader something of the shiver down the spine that Herculaneum can inspire' - Tom Holland, Literary Review
'It is a story ...retold with vivid flair...Dunn knits [the two Plinys'] lives together well and analyses the influence that they would have later on scholars from the Italian Renaissance to the English Romantic poets' - The Times
'An enthralling and ambitious book ... Dunn has a great eye for a story, and writes wonderfully' - The Daily Telegraph
'Daisy Dunn's nuanced biography breathes new life ... An evocative portrait of Renaissance men before the Renaissance' - Nature
'Daisy Dunn is to be congratulated ... There can be few other Roman characters who would not come to life thanks to her discerning judgement, her eye for detail, her wide research and her lively pen' - Catholic Herald
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I was drawn to this book having visited mount Vesuvius and Pompeii many years ago. This is an informative and enjoyable read which focuses on the life of Pliny the elder and Pliny the younger.
This book is well... More
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